De figuris Veneris

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De figuris Veneris (On the figures of Venus) is an anthology of ancient Greek and ancient Roman writings on erotic topics, discussed objectively and classified and grouped by subject matter. It was first published by the German classicist Friedrich Karl Forberg in 1824 in Latin and Greek as a commentary to Antonio Beccadelli's (1394-1471) Hermaphroditus (commonly referred to as Antonii Panormitae Hermaphroditus), an erotic poem sequence of 1425 in renaissance Latin, though it was later also published as a separate work.

De figuris Veneris
Édouard-Henri Avril (31).jpg
Cover of De figuris Veneris
AuthorFriedrich Karl Forberg
IllustratorÉdouard-Henri Avril
Cover artistÉdouard-Henri Avril
LanguageLatin and Greek
translated to German, English, French, Spanish
Publication date
Dildo being used by two women: lithograph from De Figuris Veneris (1906) by Édouard-Henri Avril

Forberg's work was later also translated into English in 1899 and published by Charles Carrington as De figuris Veneris, Manual of classical erotology,[1] and again in 1907 by Charles Hirsch,[2] and into French, German and Spanish. The French edition by Alcide Bonneau was titled Manuel d’érotologie classique. One French edition of 1906 was illustrated by Édouard-Henri Avril, which concludes with a list of 95 sexual positions.[3] Most of the editions were restricted to high society or censored; one of the copies edited in France was immediately deposited on the secret shelves of the Bibliothèque nationale de France. The Spanish translation was titled Manual de erótica clásica.

In popular cultureEdit

In Robert A. Heinlein's last novel, To Sail Beyond the Sunset (1987), Dr Ira Johnson uses the book for sexual education. Later, Maureen Johnson does the same.

References and sourcesEdit

  1. ^ Thomas, Donald (1969). A Long Time Burning: the History of Literary Censorship in England. Taylor & Francis. p. 284.
  2. ^ Camille, Michael; Rifkin, Adrian (2001). Other Objects of Desire: collectors and collecting queerly. Wiley-Blackwell. pp. 86–87. ISBN 0-631-23361-X.
  3. ^ Turner, James (2003). Schooling Sex: libertine literature and erotic education in Italy, France, and England, 1534-1685. Oxford University Press. p. 391. ISBN 0-19-925426-5.


External linksEdit

  Media related to Avril's illustrations to De figuris Veneris at Wikimedia Commons